Following negative leads from US markets, the Australian share market looks set to open lower. US stocks pulled back on Monday as a decline in Facebook dragged the tech sector down. Facebook lost almost 7 per cent after reports a political analytics firm was able to collect data from 50 million peoples profiles without their consent.
On the commodities front, oil has dropped and gold has gained around $4.00.
Local economic news
The Reserve Bank Board minutes for March are released, and the house price index for the December quarter also comes out. Prices declined by 0.2 per cent in September quarter but the market is expecting a lift of 0.1 per cent for this quarter.
Wall Street closed lower yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.4 per cent to close at 24,611, the S&P 500 fell 1.4 per cent to close at 2,713 and the NASDAQ dropped 1.8 per cent to close at 7,344.
European markets closed lower: London’s FTSE dropped 1.7 per cent, Paris lost 1.1 per cent and Frankfurt fell 1.4 per cent.
Asian markets closed mixed: Tokyo’s Nikkei fell almost 1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended slightly higher, and China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.3 per cent.
Taking all of this into consideration, the ASX futures are pointing to a 33 points fall. Yesterday the Australian share market closed higher with the S&P/ASX 200 Index adding 10 points to close at 5959.
Retail company Kathmandu (ASX:KMD) has announced the acquisition of Oboz Footwear. The company paid cash consideration of $60 million for the footwear company. Oboz designs sources and sells footwear for hiking and general outdoor wear. The company sells mostly through retailers in North America. Kathmandu says the sale will be underwritten by a $40 million New Zealand dollar placement of ordinary shares. Shares in Kathmandu Holdings Ltd (ASX:KMD) closed 4.6 per cent higher at $2.30 yesterday.
A number of companies are going ex-dividend today: Blackwall (ASX:BWF) is paying 1.9 cents fully franked, Crown Resorts (ASX:CWN) is paying 30 cents 60 per cent franked, and Perpetual Equity (ASX:PIC) is paying 3 cents 100 per cent franked.
One Australian Dollar at 8:35AM was buying US77.11 cents, 55.01 Pence Sterling, 81.76 Yen and 62.52 Euro cents.
Gold has gained $4.40 to $US1317 an ounce.
Silver has gained $0.04 to $US16.31 an ounce.
Oil has lost $0.19 to $US62.22 a barrel.
The three most traded cryptocurrencies are trading higher: Bitcoin has gained over 8 per cent to US$8493, Ethereum gained over 5 per cent to US$547 and Ripple gained over 13 per cent to US$0.70.